- Title: VARIOUS: Aquaculture system promises eco-friendly fish farming future
- Date: 20th July 2011
- Summary: TEL AVIV, ISRAEL (RECENT) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF FISH STORE AT LOCAL MARKET KADIMA, ISRAEL (RECENT) (REUTERS) WIDE OF YOSSI TAL, VICE PRESIDENT OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT AT GROW FISH ANYWHERE CLOSE OF TAL (SOUNDBITE) (English) YOSSI TAL, VICE PRESIDENT OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT AT GROW FISH ANYWHERE, SAYING: "Right now the oceans are depleting from fish, what is left over there is being polluted and there is a big problem to deliver to the markets the needed seafood that... right now the demand is just rising. We believe that our technology will do that, we'll fill up this gap between demand and production."
- Embargoed: 4th August 2011 13:00
- Location: Israel, Usa, Japan, Russian Federation
- Country: Usa Russian Federation Japan Israel
- Topics: Environment / Natural World,Science / Technology
- Reuters ID: LVAAMX5CREVWZGV5TESQL4MZSHX7
- Story Text: Israeli marine biologists have developed an environmentally friendly aquaculture system where fish can grow anywhere in the world regardless of climate or proximity to sources of water.
'Grow Fish Anywhere' (GFA) developed a network of enclosed tanks, connected to biological filters where wastewater is filtered and recirculated. Fish grown in these tanks are raised in cleaner water than traditional fish farms.
The first such commercial facility operates in Hudson, New York, in the United States.
Professor Jaap Van Rijn, whose research at the faculty of agriculture at Hebrew University in Jerusalem is the basis for founding the privately owned company, says the system, which uses tap water treated with salt from the Red Sea, was developed so that the water is constantly recycled.
"We developed a recirculating fish aquaculture system for growth of marine and fresh water fish, which we call a zero discharge system, which basically means that we can grow fish without any water exchange so the water that is used for fish growth is all the time recycled through mechanical and biological filters," said Professor Van Rijn from his office in Rehovot.
According to Van Rijn, fish grown in the tanks have a higher growth rate and output capacity.
"If we maintain a biomass of let's say eighty kilograms of fish for cubic metre than our yearly production per cubic metre is something like 120 to 130 kilograms of fish so those systems are very, very intense. We can grow a lot of fish in a very compact way.
Other than approximately one percent of water loss to evaporation, no water is wasted and solid waste is consumed in the algae tanks.
"Our system differs from other systems that we don't discharge anything and we use very little water and this is really the first time that such a system has been operated," he added.
Since overfishing depletes stocks of popular species and pollution contaminates more and more seafood, the demand for fresh fish is rising.
"Right now the oceans are depleting from fish, what is left over there is being polluted and there is a big problem to deliver to the markets the needed seafood that... right now the demand is just rising. We believe that our technology will do that, we'll fill up this gap between demand and production," said Vice President of Research and Development at 'Grow Fish Anywhere', Yossi Tal.
So far, only fish species that are already raised in existing fish farms can be grown in the new system. Species such as the endangered Blue Finned Tuna, whose life cycle is unknown, cannot be reared in the controlled environment, Tal told Reuters.
Even with a reduction in freight costs and transportation, as the fish can be grown anywhere even within the fish markets, people still pay a high price to get a same day catch on their plates.
But GFA's Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dotan Bar Noy says they are working on lowering costs in order to expand business.
"In this system we have a live bacteria working for us, cleaning the water making us able to reuse those waters. We are now taking that advantage making it with the best technical design, the best tanks, pipes, biofilters and so on in order to make sure that we will be able to raise fish less, it will cost us less to raise each kilo of fish than any other system that is out there."
GFA has raised approximately six million dollars from private investors and hopes to be profitable by mid 2013.
They plan to expand first in western Europe and then in the U.S. but a legal spat may stand as an obstacle.
The first commercial farm in upstate New York is a joint venture with the Sanit Group, which is currently locked in a legal battle with GFA over adaptations to the patented technology.
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